Samoa measles emergency: People travelling to island nation urged to keep track of vaccinations

An immunisation expert is urging people travelling to Samoa to keep track of their measles vaccinations. 

Thirty-two people have died in the outbreak so far, mostly children, and almost 2500 cases are confirmed. 

Dr Nikki Turner from the Immunisation Advisory Centre says the best thing New Zealand can do is educate travellers at the border.

"We need to think much harder about how we can beef up border protection and border control for everyone around the world," she told Newhsub.

Dr Turner said Samoa's low immunisation rates are a direct cause for the crisis.

Hundreds are also turning up to hospital which is putting a major strain on the system.

She told Newshub the situation is distressing.

"This is an international emergency and more should be done."

So far, 766 patients have been admitted to hospital since the outbreak began, with 558 discharged.

Since the start of the Samoa Mass Vaccination Campaign on November 20, 24,000 individuals have been vaccinated. The population of the island nation is just less than 200,000.

Some of the hospitals are running at 200-300 percent capacity due to the crisis, Dr Scott Wilson told Newshub on Monday.